Monday, 15 June 2015

A Room of One's Own

'A woman must have money & a room of her own in order to write fiction' (or create anything at all)

I've been musing over this Virginia Woolf quote for a couple of weeks now. Creating, making, bringing anything to fruition seems to require space; both mental and physical. I find it near impossible to create under the eye of others, I also love to spread out. It can be hard for other members of the household- I'm messy when I work (isn't it impossible not to be?), I don't like to talk and I like to work into the night.

As it is I work at a tiny desk underneath my staircase in my living room. I love my space, and feel lucky to have one at all. However, there are times when working in the living room can be rife with distractions: chatter on the street outside, my boyfriend wanting to chat, housemates with questions. All of these things are perfectly reasonable, of course, but when trying to paint they can be enormously frustrating! Making does not lend itself to idle chatter, and the tendency to snap is strong. I crave uninterrupted time and for that there is only one solution; a room of one's own. Sadly I am definitely not at the stage in my career where that is affordable but it is what I strive towards. I long for the moment when I have enough space to work big (one of the funniest questions artists get asked is about scale, it is nearly always dependent on how much space they have) and I don't have to clean up straight away.  I am lucky in that my mum offers me her studio (a lovely big space at the end of her garden) on a regular basis so I get a taste of what it's like! 

I was recently interviewed by Bibelot Magazine about my studio space. It was amusing to think about how to portray my 'space'; sometimes honesty is the best policy. Here are the photographs (plus a few extra) from the article and you can read the interview here

What do you think? Is a room of one's own necessary?

In other news I'm putting together a zine on Adulthood for an art show at the end of June. What does being an adult mean to you? are you one or have you spent a lifetime avoiding it? Is anyone really an adult or is it all just a pretence? I'd love to hear your thoughts. You can also submit poetry, illustration, essays or what ever other medium you feel compelled to work in to my email.

Collection of Intro magazine that belonged to my dad
A monk & a Suffragette watch over me (the Suffragette is saying 'DOWN WITH THE TROUSERS' which I couldn't agree with more!)

Outfit Details

1970s folk patterned silk dress - Vintage sale

1990s Hobbs shoes - belonged to my mum

Floral headdress - Penny MacBeth

Eye choker - Penny MacBeth



  1. This is wonderful and I do agree, like you, I need my own space away from others and I like to work alone and into the night when I can. I can get distracted too easy if others are around. This is a great space :))) x

  2. Cool your style and every detail of this your little corner ..

  3. Both your themes today (space of one's own and adulthood) really resonate for me. My boyfriend gave up work a year ago. He's always in the house. I rarely get any time or space just for me and I find it hard. I definitely feel like an adult these last few years. For me it's all about having responsibilities, people who genuinely need you and rely on you to do things you don't necessarily always want to, whilst putting on hold things you may want to do with your life. When I put it like that it sounds awful, but it's not really, because when you do get the time to relax and do the things you enjoy, you appreciate it all the more. Xxxx

    1. I actually have exactly the same issue. My boyfriend works from home (he used to be out at work all day). It's very hard to get used to and at times can be enormously frustrating. I think the key is carving out pieces of time for just yourself, even if it's just a short walk of five minutes breathing in the garden! I think you could be right about the responsibilities, and that's true what you say about enjoying things more. XX

  4. I love your workplace! It's so visually stimulating. I've been thinking so much about Woolf's words too. I just finished university so I've moved away from having a room of my own to sharing one again with my younger sister and it can be so frustrating when you want space to create. But I also think it's good to be able to adapt and work anywhere. I feel waiting for money and a room of one's own might make a creative person put making things off. It's amazing what comes out of you when you're struggling for space, both mentally and physically, at least in my experience.
    Great post :)


  5. Welcome to Women Who Need Sheds lol!
    I have a little room of my own where I paint but it has become the house giant junk-drawer over the last few weeks - must do something about that. I love your work space - lots to see. Bin bags at the ready :)

  6. A timely reminder that today i need to sort out mine rather than bask in the sun. Gorgeous, colourful space and that dress is pretty fabulous. xxx

  7. Down with the trousers? Hahaha. Oh yes.
    This is serious business though, a room of one's own and money. I think having private creative space is vital, VITAL! - heh, because I don't have it at the moment. I used to, but not now. But WE MAKE DO, don't we? Your nook is bursting with life force. I'm glad you have it, it's hard in a shared environment, but hurrah for mothers with big spaces!

  8. your dress is so amazing my god- and I love your room! the shade of blue on the walls and all the knickknacks are wonderful <3